Nov 29, 2010

Ninja Martial Arts & Self Defense Training - A Serious Problem That You Might Not Have Considered!

Many people get involved with martial arts training, or set out to learn effective self defense - especially in arts like Ninjutsu - the Ninja's self protection system, only to find out that there is something within themselves that may prevent them from ever being able to use what they learn. This article discusses, not only this dangerous trait, but also some suggestions for insuring that this problem doesn't put you flat on your face and at the mercy of a blood-thirsty attacker!

The problem that I'm referring to is the issue of causing pain to others. I can't tell you how many students that I've had over the years who just could not bring themselves to even apply a little pressure to their partner's pressure point without shutting down.

And, of course, the natural question from these students is, "Sensei, how do I overcome this aversion to causing pain so that I can do what I must to survive an attack?"

After carefully observing this phenomenon over the years, I believe that this issue really comes from both a hard-wired response that most humans have to harming others, as well as the programming you may have received as a child about "nice people not hurting others."

I believe that it is not necessarily a bad thing to have this filter in place. It's what separates us from savages and socio-pathic killers.

However, I do agree that, there can be too much of this "aversion response" - especially if your focus is on being able to defend yourself against the rage and animosity from a brutal attacker who wants to beat, break, or kill you.

The question then is, how do you overcome this response in training when you need to learn how to produce results - when your partner is another "nice person" like yourself? And, how do you train safely, without hurting your training partners, and still be able to neutralize an attacker who isn't worried about you using self defense on him?

What I have found that works for me in regards to both is this:

1) When considering the damage that will need to be done to an attacker, I found it useful to make a simple paradigm shift in perspective. I have no problem in putting down a wild animal that is doing, or about to do, damage. So, I simply shift my perspective to see an assailant the same way.

2) When considering this part of training with my fellow students, it's important to note that there is a huge difference between "causing pain," and "hurting" or "damaging" someone. Especially in class when, effectively, your partner is "offering" up his or her body to "the cause" - to your ability to grasp and understand the technique being learned.

As long as you don't go overboard or get a kick out of causing pain, this is a natural part of a proper training process.

Of course, there is a third consideration. and that is...

3) Stop training and resign yourself to the idea that you will not be able to do what you must to properly defend yourself!


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